Tag Archives: Prince Rupert

CBC Prince Rupert Interview

When we were in Prince Rupert a couple weeks ago, on our way to the first fishing of the season, Otto and I were lucky enough to get interviewed by the local CBC Radio station. Check out our interview with Carolina de Ryk, co-host of CBC Daybreak North, Prince Rupert:

Audio MP3

Parting Ways

This blog entry was originally published on the blog for Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery as I hitched a ride on a tiny commercial salmon gillnet boat on its way to fishing grounds north of Prince Rupert.

20110621_07-26-23.jpgGood morning and Happy Canada Day!

After almost two weeks in cramped quarters, mixed weather and truly spectacular scenery, it’s time for me to leave Otto and Boris so that I can continue on to Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) for my own personal adventure.

This has been a once-in-a-lifetime trip; it’s hard to imagine that Otto has been doing it yearly for the last forty-two years. There have been a ton of changes in the industry since Otto began and it gets harder and harder every year to make ends meet. There’s increasing competition for the fish out there, the costs of running a boat continue to go up (especially fuel) and there’s more and more pressure from fish farms up and down the coast. I’ve had a chance to see, first-hand, how innovative models like our Community Supported Fishery keep fishing a viable profession in the face of an increasingly corporate, centralized and industrial fishing industry.

20110627_06-28-43.jpgIn addition to this blog, I’ve started uploading pictures taken during the trip to my Flickr account; when I’m back from my adventures in Haida Gwaii I’ll make sure they’ve all got captions, so you know what you’re looking at.

With the first fishing of the season under the belt, I’m sure it’s going to be a good season for Otto, Terry and Rod on the North Coast. Word came down yesterday that the Nass opening will happen next Monday for two days, again; hopefully it’ll be great fishing in fantastic weather. It’s time to wish Otto well and make my way to the ferry. Thanks so much for following along on our journey… it’s been a blast!

20110630_15-01-01.jpgMy writing for this blog isn’t actually finished, even if my journey with Otto has. I had the chance to do and see a few amazing things here in Prince Rupert that I hope to share with you as soon as I get back to Vancouver. One of the highlights was an incredible lesson by Opa Sushi in Prince Rupert on how to cut sashimi and make other Japanese dishes from a whole sockeye salmon. Once I edit down the 90 minutes of video I recorded, I’ll be sure to post it on the blog. Also, I’ve been collecting some amazing salmon recipes along the way that I’ll also be posting when I return. Stay tuned…

Arrival on the Fishing Grounds

20110626_15-59-08.jpgHello from the fishing grounds! We’ve just met up with Otto’s fishing buddies, Rod and Terry, in a long protected bay where we’ll be anchored for the night. There are over fifty other gillnet boats here as well, waiting for tomorrow at 6:00AM when we can all start fishing. Most of the boats are in pairs or threes, tied up together with one boat dropping their anchor.

I’ve come to learn that fisherman are a competitive group (squeezing accurate information about fishing conditions from these guys is as easy as holding on to a greased pig.) That said, everyone seems to have a couple or three friends that they can trust, sharing (mostly accurate) info as they try to assess the scene. I suspect those are exactly the groupings I see people tied up into.

20110626_19-08-13.jpgThe trip up here was uneventful, and shorter than expected, possibly because of all the long days of traveling we’ve had just to get here. We’re about six hours north of Prince Rupert and can see Alaska from here. (I joked on Facebook this afternoon that Sarah Palin might be able to see Russia from her house, but we can see Alaska from the boat…)

The area we’re in is huge and beautiful; there’s still snow on the mountains around us, but the water is glassy calm.

Let’s hope it’s like that tomorrow. Also, tonight will be my first night on the boat where we’re not tied up to a dock to sleep; I wonder how much we’ll move around when we’re only held in place by an anchor.

During the trip, you can either check this blog for the latest entries, or you can go to this interactive map of all the blog posts related to this trip. You can also find photos from the trip on Flickr.

Heading off from Prince Rupert

20110625_10-58-43.jpgIt’s been a bit of a whirlwind since we hit Prince Rupert. Before tying up, we hit the fuel dock and filled the Eldorado back up; it seems that we burned through almost $600 in diesel to get from Port Hardy to here. Running a boat sure isn’t cheap.

Not long after we got into Prince Rupert, a local Twitter-friend who’s also a host for CBC Radio Prince Rupert interviewed both Otto and I about the Community Supported Fishery and my documentation on this blog. As soon as it gets broadcast (possibly on Wednesday), I’ll be sure to post the interview online.

20110626_08-11-30.jpgIn the afternoon, I did a little poking around Rupert. Not unlike North Vancouver, it’s nestled between the mountains and the water and even though it’s not a large town (only about 13,000 people), it’s still an impressively diverse and active community. The wharf we’re staying at is in an area called Cow Bay; everything is painted in black and white splotches–it’s significantly more adorable than it sounds. The cruise ship terminal is nearby, as are a number of interesting-looking stores that I’ll have to come back and visit when I’m back in town. I also stopped at Breakers, a nice (and busy) waterfront pub, to use their wireless internet to send off a few emails. (Buy a beer and get free internet? Sounds like a great deal to me…)

20110625_19-10-58.jpgAfter poking around Cow Bay for a bit, I wandered up to the Museum of Northern BC. In addition to information about the history of the area, it hosts a breathtaking collection of North Coast art. There’s something special about them being displayed so much closer to their originating communities, some of which we’ve already visited on this journey.

Not long afterward, I wandered back to the boat and found that Otto was still “up-town” at the Safeway, so I decided to take a little wander around the docks to take photos. That’s about when I met the guy with the dungeness crab that I mentioned in yesterday’s video.

20110626_08-19-13.jpgThis morning I had breakfast at the Crest Hotel; their restaurant has an incredible view of the water and the island across from from Rupert. They also make a mean smoked salmon eggs benedict. On my way there, I stopped to offer to help a group of Filipino men take a picture of themselves and by the end of the ensuing conversation, I got offered a ride on their Ecuador-bound grain freighter. Unfortunately, I have a great girlfriend and an exploding garden to get back to so I had to turn them down. After breakfast I wandered back to the boat so that we can head up toward the Nass River fishing grounds, a trip that’ll take about six hours and put us within a stone’s throw of Alaska. Time to shove off!

During the trip, you can either check this blog for the latest entries, or you can go to this interactive map of all the blog posts related to this trip. You can also find photos from the trip on Flickr.

Good Evening from Prince Rupert

20110625_13-08-30.jpgI’ve been a little negligent in my blogging the last couple of days; I’ve got a ton to tell you about our evening/morning in Port Edward (just south of Prince Rupert) and our day in Prince Rupert. Unfortunately, we leave Prince Rupert today at noon to head up to the fishing grounds so that we’re ready to drop the nets in the water at 6AM tomorrow morning, fishing hard until 10PM at night, before doing it all over again on Tuesday. by Wednesday morning we’ll be back in Port Edward, getting the fish on a truck to get down to you. I’m sure that Sonia and Shaun will be in touch soon about that pick up.

In the meantime, a funny thing happened to me on the docks last night…

During the trip, you can either check this blog for the latest entries, or you can go to this interactive map of all the blog posts related to this trip. You can also find photos from the trip on Flickr.